Preferred Name

Christine Fasching Maphis

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

ORCID

https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0494-5397

Date of Graduation

12-19-2020

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Department

School of Nursing

Advisor(s)

Linda Hulton, PhD, RN

Abstract

Recommendations regarding the need to prepare nurses and other health care providers (HCPs) for the health impacts of climate change (CC) have grown ubiquitous in the literature. Timely, efficient and sustainable strategies by the health care industry are necessary. Failure to act is predicted to result in catastrophic and lethal population health consequences. A growing body of research identifies related knowledge gaps and supports HCP competencies and best practice interventions to mitigate adverse population health impacts of CC. A social ecological framework and the PRECEDE-PROCEED approach were employed to develop and evaluate a series of online webinars designed to equip nurses and other HCP’s to incorporate strategies to mitigate, adapt and build resilience to the health impacts of climate change into their practice and professional ethic. A pilot Program Evaluation project was undertaken to examine the constructs of awareness, motivation, concern, and engagement in personal and professional climate related behaviors and the impact that the series of educational webinars had on participants. Comparison was made to determine differences between groups and any self-reported changes in the constructs between pre and post webinar participation. Participants were highly aware, motivated, concerned and engaged in personal mitigation and resilience building behaviors. They indicated a sense of knowledge deficit, lack of confidence, and being overwhelmed as barriers to HCP engagement in climate related professional behaviors. Study results indicate that although participants are willing to speak with personal associates about the population health risks associated with climate change, they do not feel prepared, knowledgeable, or confident to participate in professional behaviors or communicate with colleagues and legislators in order to protect the population from these risks which are predicted to be imminently associated with climate change. The study was limited by small sample size, data collection challenges, and presumable ceiling effect and social desirability bias. This pilot program evaluation study supports the need for immediate development of competency based curricula and practice guidelines to equip, and empower HCP’s to meet their professional ethical obligation to protect human health.

Keywords: Health care providers, climate change, environmental sustainability, education

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